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hammered dulcimer

Gotcher First Gig?

It’s only natural to daydream about your first gig … a small gathering of friends hoping to see you do well, spotlights , applause, a crowd of satisfied folks from the audience wanting to shake your hand and congratulate you after the event.

I hate to stick a pin in that daydream bubble, but first-time concerts don’t always run so smoothly. But, the good news is that, with just a little preparation, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that might spoil the dream for you. Don’t even think about …

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Colin Beasley Live Workshop

We are excited to host Colin Beasley for our May Live Workshop!
CBEASLEY
Colin Beasley (<-- Click on his name to learn more about him)

Thurs, May 19, 5 pm MDT

Playing Melody and Harmony Together:

Hand Independence

Discover the magic of playing melody in one hand and harmony in the other! You will learn what you can do with hand independence and how you can get started with it.

This is a hammered dulcimer-focused workshop (with mountain dulcimer translation!)

This workshop (and its recorded…

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Connect Like a Rock Star

I am SO not a rock star. And you probably aren’t either. But when I’m playing my instrument, I’m a communicator and I want to connect with the person or audience for whom I’m playing.

 With that in mind, do you ever feel like you’re not connecting with your audience … when you’re introducing your next tune … or when you’re actually playing your dulcimer? Do they look bored (out of their minds)? Are their toes stubbornly still, instead of tapping along with the beat? Does their body language reve…

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The Difference Between an Improvisor ...

The Difference Between an Improvisor ...
And the Rest of Us

There is an important difference between a musician who can improvise and the rest of us who depend on our staff music or tabs in order to play a tune.

I would say a big percentage of us simply play music the way it was written by others, note for note, measure after measure. Now I have several books with my favorite hymns, many of them with the same hymns. Each collection has arrangements by a different composer so, when I pick a new …

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If It Doesn't Challenge You ...

I practice the same things routinely, so I’m prepared in case someone walks in the house, sees instruments all over the place, and asks me to play something for them. BUT … have I fallen into a rut, both on my keyboard and my hammered dulcimer? Is my practice growing stagnant?

I think, if I’m honest, the answer would have to be yes. It occurred to me yesterday that I haven’t learned anything new in a while. I haven’t tried any new licks or tricks. I haven’t challenged myself for far too long.…

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Can I Play This in Public?

The copyright law for musicians is pretty simple: In short, “a music composition or sound recording is protected by copyright law when it is an original idea that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression,” according to the Digital Media Law Project. For example, the classic song “I Will Always Love You” was written by Dolly Parton, so she has a copyright as the composer of the song. But we can never forget the incredible sound of Houston Whitney singing it, and she has the recording copyrig…

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Introducing Carmen Amrein a new Teacher at DulcimerCrossing.

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Our newest Teacher to join the faculty of DulcimerCrossing is Carmen Amrein who lives in Munich, Germany.  

Carmen was able to study the playing of the German Hackbrett, the 5th-tuned German Hackbrett (in flat keys to accompany accordions and folk music, and the Italian Salterio at the University in Munich.  She and other graduate have put together the annual Hackbrett Festival (the 3rd version of that festival is coming up in May.)

We are excited that she offered a Live Workshop for us in Mar…

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Musical Etiquette

Some of us play professionally with others in a band. But most of us only have an opportunity to play along with our friends occasionally … perhaps at a jam session, at the nursing home, or on a friend’s front porch. Whatever the scenario, it is important to follow proper musical etiquette in order to enjoy a satisfying experience with other musicians and your audience.

Musical etiquette is the practice of following the unwritten ground rules that help musicians get along and work effectively t…

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It's Just Practice

Person: How do you perform so well?

Musician: Practice

Person: It must be an innate gift.

Musician: It’s practice.

Person: I can never understand how some people get all the talent. It’s a total mystery.

Musician: It’s just practice.


It doesn’t matter what you want to learn. The difference in performance or results are the direct result of practice. When you were learning to cook, was your first batch of cookies the best you ever made? Did you burn food on the campfire or BBQ pit at the be…

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3-Chord Songs

Have you ever gone to a jam session and gotten left behind holding your pick in confusion? If you’re just starting out to learn to play the dulcimer, it can be frustrating when everything that sounds so good seems so complex. You just want to play along with the others, but everyone else is WAY ahead of you. Well, there’s a solution for that. Just play chords until the melodies start to sink in and sound familiar.

You may have noticed that many of the songs we play at jam sessions sound simil…

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